Oh, the infamous GoPro. You may know it as the durable, waterproof, pocket-sized device that is the camera of choice for trips, action sports athletes and recording life’s moments—no matter how crazy they are.
But what you didn’t know is that this little capture device is full of not-so-hidden tricks to make capturing everything from your day-to-day routine to a once-in-a-lifetime event incredibly easy.
Here is a GoPro-endorsed list of some of the lesser-known GoPro camera features and settings that will make you look like a pro and guarantee that you never miss the shot.
- Chillax while GoPro automatically uploads your content to the cloud.*
Once you’re home from a day’s adventure, plug your GoPro in to charge and it’ll join your home WiFi network (or other designated network) and start transferring new content to the GoPro Cloud. Use the Quik app or login via a web browser and—voila—your footage is waiting for you.
- You can turn your camera onandstart recording with one press of the shutter.
It’s called QuikCapture, and it’s a lifesaver for capturing fleeting moments on the fly. Push the shutter button once to turn on and start recording video or press and hold to start a time lapse. Press again, and the GoPro will turn off.
- You can mouth off to your GoPro, and it WILL respond!
OK, you can’t tell it just anything, but you can use voice commands to do things like start recording, stop recording, take a photo, change modes and add HiLight tags.
- What’s a HiLight tag? Only the best way to mark your favorite moments while you’re recording.
Drop a HiLight by pressing the mode button while recording, saying “GoPro HiLight,” or add while reviewing via the HiLight feature in the Quik app. From then on, you’ll see a little orange tag on that video clip icon and know that there is a good moment in there!
PRO TIP: When making an auto-edit with the Quik app, Quik will register HiLight tags and prioritize these moments in the final edit.
- Bring back the ’90s with ULTRA-fisheye mode.
Technically, this is more of a mod than a mode. If you have a Max Lens Mod, you know that you need to turn on “Max Lens Mod mode” to get the ultra-wide 155˚ FOV after swapping the HERO9 Black lens cover for the mod. BUT if you skip this step and go straight to capturing, you’ll notice the mod creates a super funky, ultra-fisheye filter effect.
- Go vertical for TikTok and the ‘gram.
TikTok and Instagram Reels are optimized for vertical content, and there’s just something magical about seeing GoPro’s signature wide angle in Portrait Mode. You can lock the screen orientation to prevent your GoPro slipping back to horizontal. Do so by swiping down and tapping the orientation lock icon.
PRO TIP: When you start capture holding your GoPro vertically, the orientation will stay locked vertical for the capture duration.
- Give your stabilization a boost.
If you’re about to enter some bouncy territory—from bombing a single track to handing the camera to a toddler or mounting to a family pet—you can ensure footage is ultra-smooth by turning on HyperSmooth Boost mode.
PRO TIP: Keep it steady by turning on Horizon Leveling in HERO9. Flipping out? Put Max Lens Mod on HERO9 Black and turn on Horizon Lock. It will keep the horizon level and locked, even while your GoPro is doing flips.
- Add some flair with Capture Presets and On-Screen Shortcuts.
We wanted to take the guesswork out of settings, so we introduced Capture Presets. You can customize up to 10 of your favorite Protune settings for things like Slo-Mo, Activity, Night Photo, etc. Same with on-screen shortcuts—you can have up to four that offer one-tap access to things like timer, digital lenses, ISO and more. But wait, there’s more! You can tap and hold the settings pill or shortcut icons to quickly access the full. (You can have a minimum 4 pieces of flair, so express yourself.)
- Your GoPro can turn back time.
We can’t take back what you did last weekend, but we can capture what happens up to 30 seconds of video before you hit the shutter button when you use the HindSight feature. Turn on HindSight in the settings menu, which is quickly accessed by tapping and holding the settings pill (see No. 8 above!).
- It takes two … fingers to change presets without using the rear touch screen.
Should you find yourself in a position where you can’t tap the rear display—maybe underwater or using additional protective housing—change presets by simultaneously pressing and holding the mode and shutter buttons. The front display will show you preset options and you can toggle through by pressing the mode button.
PRO TIP: Press the mode button a millisecond before you press the shutter button and look at the front display on HERO9 Black to toggle through custom presets.
- Give the rear display a tap-tap-taparoo to lock exposure.
Blown-out, overexposed videos are the worst! And grainy underexposed photos are a close second. Prevent this by tapping and holding on the rear display to reveal the Exposure Lock square. Then, tap on the area that you want to lock the exposed to (i.e. if the sun is behind the subject, tap on the subject so they aren’t underexposed).
- GoPros are waterproof and mountable straight outta the box.
Waterproof down to 33 feet to be exact, and the mounting fingers are built right into the camera for easy mount swapping. But, if you’re getting extra rugged or diving extra deep, we have housing for a little extra protection.
- Water and GoPros go together like PB&J. But, like peanut butter, sometimes water can be runny and cause you to slip into another mode.
Prevent accidental mode-switching by locking your screen while snorkeling or engaging in other water activities. Do so by swiping down and tapping the screen lock icon.
- Tell us you’ve mastered TimeWarp without telling us you’ve mastered TimeWarp.
We’ll go first. If you want to look like a pro, slow down your TimeWarp to highlight a moment or a particularly beautiful scene by tapping the rear display or hitting the mode button to toggle to Real Speed.
- Shoot to impress by abiding by the Rule of Thirds.
Swipe down on the rear display and tap the grid icon in the main menu. This will turn your rear LCD into a grid so you can frame up a perfectly level shot and stick to the rule of thirds.
- Only you can prevent light flicker.
IYKYK; different countries have different lighting frequencies, and artificial light sources (TV, fluorescents, holiday lights, etc.) in general often result in a weird flicker in video footage. Rejoice—there is an anti-flicker setting on GoPro: Swipe down to revel that main menu > preferences > general > anti-flicker.
- Set your self(ie) up for success by tailoring your photo mode to the environment or output you want.
Within the standard single-photo mode on a GoPro, you can optimize the camera to shoot night photo, HDR photo, SuperPhoto (where the GoPro picks the best photo mode for you) and more. You can also set output to RAW if you’re looking for the ultimate editing control.
- You can command your GoPro to doreallycool things with QR codes. GoPro Labs launched in May 2020 to give access unreleased and trial camera features that GoPro engineers are playing with. With GoPro Labs, you can do things like add your name and contact to your GoPro metadata and set wake-on timers based on time, noise and GPS trajectory.
PRO TIP: You can also take a picture of your phone number, or a selfie of you saying your name and number on video when you start with a fresh SD card.
- Overworked after trying all these GoPro hacks? Let your camera take a breather with a reset.
We’ve all been there with electronics—sometimes they just need a hard reset. Press and hold power button for 10 seconds to reset your GoPro.
All these features are available on HERO9 Black, and you’ll see most (but not all) on GoPro MAX, HERO8 Black and recent GoPro cameras.